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Warburton Valley CEDA (Community Economic Development Association) Inc, formerly Warburton & District Chamber of Commerce & Industry, is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers focused on the economic interests of the communities in the Warburton Valley.

The region represents a 60-kilometre journey from Lilydale to the Upper Yarra Dam and includes towns such as Wandin, Seville, Woori Yallock, Launching Place, Yarra Junction, Warburton and surrounds.

Emergency services started using the name 'Warburton Valley' during the 2009 bushfires when they referred to the valley and the townships along the Warburton Highway.  As Warburton Valley CEDA is an amalgamation of businesses from the former groups of 'Warburton & District Chamber of Commerce & Industry' and 'Warburton Highway Tourism', we use 'Warburton Valley' in our name (and for our region) with the aim of representing and advocating for businesses in our region of Yarra Ranges.


'To engage and support members to leverage their collective strengths to create a vibrant business community.'


Community Economic Development (CED) encourages enterprise, using local resources in a way that enhances economic opportunities while improving social conditions in a sustainable way.

CED takes into account social, environmental, and economic outcomes and recognises the links between the local, regional and national layers of the economy. Using a CED approach will enable us to build on the knowledge, experience and resources in our community, to identify and make the most of local economic opportunities.

  • To provide a unified voice for Warburton Valley.

  • To help secure regional funding.

  • To unite businesses and community-based organisations along the Warburton Highway & surrounds to foster a sense of collaboration and self-reliance that is sustainable and supports thriving local economies.

  • To advocate to any appropriate authority and facilitate community involvement in the continued development, maintenance and use of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail.

  • To enhance the tourism potential of the region 

  • Ongoing engagement with major stakeholders including Yarra Ranges Council,  Parks Victoria, DELPW (Department of Environment, Land, Parks and Waterways), AUSNET and VicRoads.

  • Ongoing engagement with local stakeholders including Upper Yarra Community Enterprise (UYCE), Warburton Advancement League (WAL), Yarra Ranges Enterprise Centres (YREC) and Yarra River Reserve Committee of Management.

  • Active engagement with all major event organisers to make sure our region gets the best possible outcome from events organised in our backyard.

  • Quarterly Business Forums providing our members with great opportunities for networking and business development via learning from a variety of guest speakers and fellow business members.

  • Promotion of ‘business-to-business’ trading via ‘familiarisation visits’ to member businesses.

  • Engagement in ‘shop local’ campaigns for promotion of our local retailers.

  • Ongoing commitment to support the Warburton Waterwheel Visitor Information Centre by the means of financial and operational assistance (including two permanent board positions).

  • Provision of business information and advice via social media, regular newsletters and services of WV CEDA Business Engagement Officer.

  • Promotion of our member businesses via social media, newsletters and listings on this website.

  • Acknowledgement at Local, State and Federal government levels as an effective and collective voice representing the region.

  • Productive and supportive working relationships with Yarra Ranges Council and Yarra Ranges Tourism.

  • Multi-million dollar investment commitments from political parties for significant regional development projects.

  • Increased awareness of Warburton Valley CEDA’s mission and activities among traders and business operators throughout the Warburton Valley.

  • As a result of Warburton Valley CEDA’s advocacy Warburton Valley is fast becoming a key destination for recreational tourism including the Warburton Mountain Bike Hub.

  • Successful lobbying for action from Council on several matters of concern to traders.

  • Employment of a dedicated Business Engagement Officer whose role is to look after communication and provide members with support and advice.

  • A new website for Warburton Valley businesses and community


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Cleo Silva


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Christine Birch

Vice President

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Leila Smith


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Leila Smith CPA is the Financial Controller + HR Administrator for Coombe Yarra Valley. 

Sixteen years ago, a day trip to the Yarra Valley resulted in a holiday house purchase in Warburton. It did not take long for the holiday house to become the permanent residence.

In 2009 along with her husband she established and ran the Warburton Pantry and fulfilled her dream of owning her own business and sharing her love for food and wine. She is passionate about giving back to the community and as a CPA that seems to always result in the capacity of treasurer. She was a member of the Warburton Fire Brigade for 10 years and held the position of treasurer. She is also currently the treasurer of the Warburton Tennis Club and has held that position for over 14 years.

Business success and community spirit is what drives her passion to be on the CEDA committee. Knowing first-hand how hard it can be running a small business she hopes she can help make a difference by imparting her own local business experience along with over 30 years of financial management as an accounting professional. Connecting and supporting local business owners to fulfill their own passion and success which then contributes to the success of the region is at the heart of what she is passionate about.

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Cathy Sanders


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Dale Feim

Committee Member

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Dale is the founder and director of Dalcorp Accounting Services, a progressing accounting firm recognised for its modern cloud accounting approach.  Dale is a Fellow Member with the Institute of Public Accountants and has been in Public Practice now for 20 years.  He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Diploma of Financial Planning and is a Registered Tax Practitioner.

Since establishing his practice, Dale quickly became recognised for his expertise and core specialisation in the Tourism & Agribusiness sectors.  As a Yarra Valley resident of more than 40 years, Dale has a genuine passion for promoting our region and providing support to the many small businesses operating within it.

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Jacqui Harvey

Committee Member

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Cathy has lived and worked in the Yarra Valley for 36 years and has always been passionate about and actively involved in the local community, taking on many volunteer roles during that time. She has had a very successful 40-year career in education, working in primary and more recently in adult education. Cathy holds a Bachelor of Education and has been acknowledged for her educational leadership winning an award for visionary and effective leadership.  

The varied leadership roles, including Assistant Principal, have provided Cathy  with a real understanding of and connection to local community. 

Currently Cathy works in the family business and has been actively involved in the set up and running of Sanders U-Pick Apples which commenced in 2018 as part of the already established family Orchard business at Three Bridges. Through working in the family business Cathy has been able to actively promote agritourism, support local business and showcase the beautiful Upper Yarra Valley. 

Cathy’s love of new challenges, interest in tourism and strong connection to local community led her to join the Warburton Valley CEDA committee and take on the role of secretary.

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Matt Swan

Committee Member

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Sam Maddock

Committee Member

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Richard Stanwix

Committee Member

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Sam Maddock is the Co-Founder and Director of Warburton Adventure Company. He is a passionate advocate of adventure tourism and is an industry leader who has held executive level positions in schools, for-purpose businesses and on NGO boards. He is widely recognised for his risk management expertise and environmentally sustainable practices in outdoor and international expeditions. He is a seasoned adventurer with 22 years of experience safely guiding group adventure expeditions in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland states in Australia, and internationally to Japan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Timor-Leste. He is a trained Teacher with extensive experience in experiential education, curriculum and program development.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Graduate Diploma of Education, and Certificate IV of Outdoor Recreation. He is the Warburton Valley CEDA Inc. Industry Partner representative on the Board of Yarra Ranges Tourism.

Richard Stanwix wears multiple hats. He is the co-owner operator of the Warburton Motel and outdoor adventure business Bike and Hike (together with his wife).  Richard is a career risk, crisis and emergency management professional with over 30 years experience working for or consulting to some of the largest companies in the world, and multiple governments. Richard is the Chief Operating Officer of "Atomic6 International", a cutting edge commercial construction organisation specialising in low to zero emission self-energised hospitals, self energised commercial-scale vertical organic farms and totally off-grid scalable housing - most of which is deployed in developing nations across multiple continents. Richard is passionate about Warburton and the restoration it offers travellers from far and wide.  He doesn't wear a suit anymore but the only thing he hates more than suits is photos of himself.


Leila Myllymaeki-Hay

Ex-Officio Business Engagement Officer

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Leila has lived in Warburton since 2000. She operated a Scandinavian Design Shop in the Main Street for 11 years and has been involved  in community groups since her move to the Valley. She has held volunteer committee positions in Warburton Highway Tourism, Warburton & District Chamber of Commerce and Warburton Community Bank Board. She also co-ordinated the Nordic Festival in Warburton, a celebration of Scandinavian culture. After closing her business, Leila worked as a Business Development Manager for an outbound tour company. She also has a long history in destination marketing and tourism product development. Leila gained wider understanding of Economic Development during her role at Yarra Ranges Council's Economic Development Team. She is passionate about her local community and helping small businesses reach their potential and thrive.


Mayor Jim Child

Ex-Officio Council Representative

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Cr Jim Child - O'Shannassy Ward

First Elected: 2012

Re-elected: 2016, 2020

Mayor: 2012 - 2013, 2021 -  

Jim is a fifth-generation resident of Yarra Ranges who is passionate about supporting and encouraging local business and tourism.

Jim’s long time dedication to the area he calls home is evidenced by the fact that he was first elected to local government as a Councillor with the Upper Yarra Shire in 1982, where he served for two consecutive Council terms. Jim held the honour of Shire President during 1985.

Jim has a background in information technology, telecommunications, hospitality and company directorships spanning some 50 years.

He is keen to provide much needed localised employment for local residents, especially young people. He is concerned about sensible management of Council finances, managing our local environment and planning processes. ​

Cr Child attends WV CEDA committee meetings as an ex-officio Council representative.